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Face shield designs to fill the gap

March 19, 2020
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We are all feeling a little helpless in the face of COVID-19. We are looking for ways to help. Face shield shortages are putting health workers at risk.

Download the open-source face shield design


Lots of cool handmade solutions are popping up including ways to cut up a two-liter soda bottle. For handy folks, this is a wonderful approach.

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We feel like there is a gap in the response to these shortages. It’s the niche between craft project and mass production. It’s possible that this niche will need to be filled long term as traditional supply chains break down during demand spikes or transportation challenges.

Delve, Midwest Prototyping and University of Wisconsin-Madison Makerspace adapted a face shield design used at the University of Wisconsin hospital and found affordable and available bulk materials at every mechanical engineer’s favorite online resource McMaster-Carr. If you buy enough material to make 1,000 masks, the cost of goods per mask is $1.70.

Face Shield on Jesse
Jesse Darley wears the face shield.
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Midwest Prototyping has set up an assembly line to make as many of these as possible to serve the local community.

Delve is providing this drawing of the design for anyone to use. We hope you can use this design to build local supplies for your hospitals.

Download the open-source face shield design

Face Shield Packaged Rotated
Packaged face shield ready to be delivered to local hospital.

If you are a maker space, a light manufacturer or just a handy family, this may be a way for you to give back. There are a just a few things you need to make this happen:

  • Connections to hospitals. You should figure out who to talk to, see if they have a need for face shields. See if they are willing to pay between $2 or $3 per mask to cover costs. See if their Infection Control department or their Materials department will approve use of this mask.
  • Money. It’s about $2,000 in materials to make 1,000 face shields. We suggest selling these to the hospitals, not donating them to make sure your organization will be able to keep working on this and not lose steam. Incentives work.
  • Equipment. A laser cutter, a stapler, and a pair of scissors are ideal. The laser cutter can be replaced with a shear or scissors. Gloves and cleaning equipment and an area you can keep segregated so the face shields stay clean (not sterile).
  • Labor. You need people to assemble them, package them and transport them.
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The part numbers for the foam, elastic and clear plastic are included in the Bill of Materials shown in the drawing, but here are direct links to the materials:

If you have any suggestions or questions, please email me at jesse.darley@delve.com.

Download the open-source face shield design 

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